In the West, warm weather across the central and southern Rockies and the Four Corners region contrasts with a surge of very cool air across the northern Rockies, the Great Basin, and the Pacific Coast States.

On the Plains, dry weather prevails in most areas. In contrast, precipitation is beginning to overspread Montana’s High Plains, where travel in wind-driven snow may become difficult by tonight—although the moisture will greatly benefit winter wheat.

In the Corn Belt, a band of rain showers stretches across the southern tier of the region from the middle Mississippi Valley into the middle Ohio Valley. Elsewhere, freezes were noted this morning in portions of the Great Lakes region, where producers continue to monitor early-blooming fruits and other temperature-sensitive crops in the wake of an ongoing series of cool outbreaks that began on March 26.

In the South, dry weather has returned to the western Gulf Coast region, but showers and thunderstorms continue to affect the lower Mississippi Valley and parts of the Southeast. Rain is especially beneficial across the drought-affected lower Southeast, including Florida’s peninsula.

Outlook: A storm system drifting across the South will continue to produce scattered showers and locally severe thunderstorms into Friday. On Friday and during the weekend, however, a high-pressure system will build across the eastern U.S., resulting in possible freezes as far south as the central Corn Belt, the lower Great Lakes region, and the northern Mid-Atlantic States. Meanwhile, a new storm system will take shape across the nation’s mid-section. Although precipitation will be limited with the latter storm—except for some much-needed, late-week rain and snow on the northern High Plains—cool air trailing the system could result in additional frost next week from the Midwest into the Northeast. The NWS 6- to 10-day outlook for April 11-15 calls for above-normal temperatures from the Plains westward, except for cooler-than-normal conditions in California. Below-normal temperatures will also prevail across much of the eastern one-third of the U.S. Meanwhile, near- to above-normal precipitation across the majority of the nation will contrast with drier-than-normal weather in the southwestern and south-central U.S., and from the Great Lakes region into the Northeast.